Hi, everyone! Today, I’ve asked our summer intern, Laura Zats, to tell us a bit about her experiences here at Lerner.
As an intern in the editorial department of a publishing house, you would think that English would be the most useful course of study for me to have followed. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this was not so. Sure, understanding grammar rules and having a large vocabulary is important, but given the educational focus of Lerner Publishing, the catch-all discipline of anthropology proved to be my most valuable asset as I begin to tackle the publishing industry.
Like many current college students, I opted for a double major. My school does not have distribution requirements, and so having two solid courses of study was a way to insert structure into my curriculum. Thus, I chose English and anthropology as my two majors. While I will be the first to tell you that it’s Shakespeare and not Darwin that floats my boat, it wasn’t until working here that I realized just how deeply anthropology had permeated into every single facet of my everyday life.
Anthropologists like to brag about how clever they are because they study everything, which is true, in a way. This is because fundamentally, anthropology is the study of humankind—both individuals and groups, contemporary and ancient. All of the knowledge on this planet has been passed on from person to person, only discovered and investigated because someone thought it was interesting and useful. Ultimately, any bit of fiction, science, or social studies-based knowledge can be connected to humans in some way.
At Lerner, I work on books that greatly vary in subject matter. In a single day, I might be asked to look at a sports-based teen drama. Great! I think to myself, I haven’t thought a lot about the interpersonal behavioral norms of adolescents in a while! And then comes the request to work on an exciting manuscript about villainous rulers. A high-interest exploration into historical political power structures? Perfect! Finally, a book about soil erosion falls on my desk. No problem, I think, smiling. I love political and cultural ecology!
Even though physics continues to make me scratch my head and a discussion of American History is always accompanied by furtive googling, I’m discovering that no matter how disparate the subjects of books from Lerner Publishing might be, I can get excited about all of them because I can relate it back to something basic, something fundamental, something I understand: anthropology.
I have to say that I’m learning a lot, and loving every minute of it. Looks like I’m a Lerner too!